#World News

Trudeau defends recent elections before inquiry

By Brandon Drenon & Nadine Yousif

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended his government’s efforts to ensure election integrity at a public inquiry looking into foreign interference in Canada.

He argued that the last two elections in 2019 and 2021 had been “free and fair” and decided only by Canadians.

The inquiry has largely focused on investigating allegations that China meddled in Canadian politics.

India has also allegedly conducted its own operations.

A briefing document from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) reveals the spy agency said that China had “clandestinely and deceptively” interfered in the last two federal elections.

In one instance in the 2019 election, international students were allegedly coerced into supporting one Liberal candidate in a nomination race.

A large part of Mr Trudeau’s sworn testimony focused on allegations surrounding the candidate, former Liberal member of parliament Han Dong.

Mr Dong, who resigned to sit as an independent in March 2023 after being accused of involvement in Chinese political interference, has denied the allegations.

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